How to Fix a Clear Coat Fade

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The clear coat on vehicles is the top layer of paint most exposed to the elements. The sun's harmful ultraviolet rays can cause a clear coat to fade. Faded clear coat is dull and has a rough texture compared with a regular clear coat, which is glossy and smooth. Clear coats can be fixed so they look like new. In less than four hours, using only a few materials from an auto parts store, the clear coat on your vehicle can be fixed.

Things You'll Need

  • 600-grit sandpaper
  • 800-grit sandpaper
  • 1200-grit sandpaper
  • Water
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Microfiber towel
  • Clear coat spray paint
  • Sand the faded areas with 600-grit sandpaper and water. Use the water to keep the sandpaper wet while sanding. Hold a running water hose above the paper as you sand. This reduces buildup under the sandpaper, which could cause deep scratches in the paint. Sand the area evenly until it looks dull. Do not sand into the base color coat. Keep the sanding light and stay on the surface of the clear coat.

  • Use the 800- and 1200-grit sandpaper the same way as with the 600-grit sandpaper. Keep the sandpaper wet while sanding. Once finished with all three grits of sandpaper, rinse the car and allow it to dry.

  • Wipe all surfaces that will be painted using wax and grease remover and a microfiber towel. This gets rid of any greasy fingerprints or old wax cleaners on the surface, which could cause imperfections in the new paint.

  • Spray the areas that have been sanded and wiped using clear coat spray paint. Keep the sprayer six to eight inches from the surface. Spray slowly and lightly to avoid runs in the paint. Spray a total of three coats, and let the paint dry for three hours before handling it.

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